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9 Ways to Avoid Hair Loss After Pregnancy

Being a new mom can be one of the most emotionally rewarding — and challenging — experiences a woman faces. And while you may have anticipated your body to go through a whirlwind of changes, you may not have expected your hair to start falling out in clumps.

Also referred to as postpartum hair loss, telogen gravidarum, and telogen effluvium, excessive hair shedding after childbirth (which would occur anywhere between two and four months after giving birth) can affect between 40 and 50 percent of women, according to statistics from the American Pregnancy Association.

“When a woman is pregnant, she has a lot of extra hormones in the body, including estrogen,” says Christine Carlan Greves, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in Orlando, Florida. “The estrogen helps protect us from losing our hair. Then when she has the baby, there’s a sudden change in the hormone levels, including a drop in the estrogen. And this shift can cause a response in the body that may affect the hair cycle.”

Hair loss is a normal occurrence for a woman after a pregnancy. Telogen effluvium is the medical term for post-pregnancy hair loss, which happens to nearly 50 percent of women after they give birth. A temporary condition, this hair loss should not cause a woman to become bald or experience visibly thin spots.

Use these tips to reduce or prevent hair loss after pregnancy.

Steps

  1. Avoid hairstyles that pull or stretch your hair. Braids, cornrows, weaves or tight rollers can pull hair and cause stress and trauma to your scalp. Hair that is excessively pulled is more likely to fall out naturally, without the extra issue of telogen effluvium affecting your hair growth cycle.
  2. Maintain a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are not only naturally health, but they also contain flavonoids and antioxidants that protect hair follicles. Additionally, these foods encourage increased hair growth, which can offset any hair lost after pregnancy.
  3. Add vitamins and nutrients to your diet. Vitamin B complex, vitamins E and C, zinc and biotin help increase hair strength and health. Take extra supplements or eat foods rich in these nutrients and vitamins to help retain pre-pregnancy locks. Try Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin & Nails Formula which gets great reviews.
  4. Select a shampoo with quality ingredients. Shampoos that contain biotin or silica improve hair health and stimulate follicle growth. Use this shampoo regularly and rinse with cold water.
  5. Comb your wet hair with a wide-toothed comb. A wide-toothed comb reduces the amount of pulling and stress you apply to your hair as you attempt to remove tangles after washing it. Excessive pulling of your hair can increase the chances of it falling out.
  6. Reduce the use of heated styling tools. Heated styling tools like curling irons, hot rollers, flat irons and blow dryers dry hair out and may increase hair loss. Allow your hair to air dry and style it naturally. If you must use heated styling tools, use the coolest settings possible or give your hair a cool shot of air afterward with your hair dryer.
  7. Trim split ends. Split ends cause your hair to be less healthy. Unhealthy hair is shed in larger amounts than healthy hair.
  8. Avoid stress. Having a new baby to take care of can create more stress in your life, but try to avoid additional stressful situations or feelings. Stress can cause your hair to fall out or decrease in thickness. Avoid stress to increase your chances of retaining more of your pre-pregnancy hair
  9. Get a shorter haircut. Long hair weighs more and pulls from your scalp with its constant downward pull. Shorter haircuts cause less pressure to your hair follicles, which will decrease chances of increased shedding. A shorter hairstyle may cause your hair to look fuller and healthier, in addition to being easier to take care of than longer styles.

Take it easy and good luck new moms!

How the Trump Tax Law Impacts Your Child Deductions

You might have heard that having a dependent doesn’t do you much good anymore, at least from 2018 through 2025, thanks to tax legislation passed by congress in December 2017.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that became effective in 2018 does indeed eliminate the personal exemption that used to be available for each of your dependents.

But the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Credit are all still alive and well, and having a dependent is critical to qualifying for each of them.



And if you and your baby’s other parent aren’t married and living together, your dependent might help qualify you as head of household, an advantageous filing status.

Your baby will qualify as your dependent more or less by default under the remaining IRS rules for qualifying child dependents.

  • A dependent must be your son or daughter, brother or sister, or a descendant of one of these individuals. You’ve got this one covered if you’ve just given birth.
  • The child must be younger than age 19 on the last day of the tax year, or age 24 if a full-time student. Your baby obviously qualifies here, too.
  • Finally, the child cannot have provided more than half their own financial support for the year. This should not be an issue unless and until child labor laws radically change.

So, yes, having a dependent is still a good thing at tax time, and yes, your newborn will qualify you if you meet these rules…even if your baby is born at the 11th hour of the year.

source

How to Conceal Your Early Pregnancy From Friends This Saint Patrick’s Day



If you are newly preggers but haven’t leaked the news to colleagues, acquaintances and friends yet because it’s still quite early, hiding it from pals at a Saint Patrick’s Day outing may be tough.

If you can’t come up with an excuse to skip it because up until now you’ve been known in your circles as the group lush, you’re going to have to be creative to hide from those sleuths in your social circle

Over the years, we’ve curated some ideas and suggestions from various women who’ve had to play off their lack of drinking during the critical early months of their pregnancy when they were not yet ready to start telling others.

Here are some things you can do to maybe head off curious looks and questions:

DRESS:

 Stick with A-line tops or dresses or empire waist tops to conceal any bump that may have emerged. Whatever you do, just say no to the new crop top trend this round!

mmmkay?

Macy’s Plus Tops · Motherhood Maternity Clothes · Free People Tanks

DRINKS: 

Order a coke or other dark drink at the bar away from everyone so no one knows you’re not consuming alcohol.

Your friends may assume there is liquor or alcohol in that glass. Then, the trick is to nurse that ONE drink all night so you get to pass when someone orders another round for the group. You won’t have to do the okie doke twice.

You may not  want to waste good liquor but another option is to discreetly place  your full glass on the bar away from the group, then find a random a nearby empty glass to pick up.  It may sound a bit deceitful and grimy, but hey, you do what you have to do.

If everyone’s going out for beer, you cannot go wrong with carrying your own bottle of O’Doul’s or some other non-alcoholic beer in an oversized handbag and pouring that in an emptied glass when no one’s looking. It has the same look and consistency of real bear. You will be seen actually drinking a frothy drink.

Kombucha is a fermented black tea drink that can also look like alcoholic ale. You could also use that as a subsitute.

NAUSEA AND VOMITTING: 

Fortunately, if you have to hurl in the bathroom, and you’re at a pub, you may have plenty of company among other too inebriated light weights in there doing the same. ha!

No one will suspect it’s you in the toilet hurling or they may think you had one too many! For once, being considered to be the too drunk girl in the room has its benefits.

Have Fun and Good Luck keeping your baby-baking secret concealed!!!

10 Diaper Alternatives When You’ve Run Out, On a Plane Or Out and About

Bellyitch Rewind
It’s happened to me once during an overseas flight with baby: we ran out of diapers and the airline didn’t have any spare. Yikes!
We had to improvise and it worked until the flight landed.
This is a repost of a previous publication of this list but as I share again, I realize this advice can be used for moms who ran out of diapers and cannot afford to buy more. In which case, one of the suggestions below, dish cloths cost $12 for a pack of 10  12 inch by 12 inc
Here are 10 alternatives to a diaper that mom and dad or caregiver can resort to in the rare but common chance that they’d be without a diaper in public.
Listed below are ten alternatives to baby diapers in a pinch.
  1. Burp Rag. I’ve used cloth diapers as burp rags, so why not the other way around? Usually they are thick and will do the trick for a short amount of time at least. If you usually use cloth diapers and have a liner, then it should work a little better.
  2. Wipes. If you have the kind of wipes that need to be wetted prior to use or if you have any wipes that have dried out, they can be used in a pinch while you pick up some more. I would not advise using wipes that are wet, as this could cause a rash.
  3. Receiving Blanket. I wouldn’t suggest using your favorite one, just in case, but if you are out and about and have no other options then this will work. Most people have a receiving blanket in their diaper bag for infants, and it is large enough that you can fold it a few times for added layers or tie it around them.
  4. Maxi Pad. This may be a little embarrassing if others see you use one; however, it is also very effective. Maxi pads are made to be absorbent and can hold enough to give you the time needed to get some real diapers. Make sure you have it secured into a diaper bottom or onesie, so it doesn’t slip.
  5. Cheese Cloth. I would recommend folding this one as many times as you can and place it in a diaper bottom or onesie, the same as you would for a maxi pad. Since cheese cloth is made to have liquid wrung through it, you want to make sure you have as many layers as possible, and don’t rely on it lasting a long time.
  6. Dishtowel. Again, I wouldn’t use your favorite one, but at least this one will be more absorbent and may buy you some additional time.
  7. Wash Cloth. Depending on the size of your washcloths, you may want to use more than one, and either fold them or wrap them around and tie at the waist.
  8. Pillow Case. Go for cotton and not silk or satin for best results. Bunch it together and tie or pin it up like a cloth diaper.
  9. Napkin. I would suggest cloth, and not paper, but again stay away from your favorites. You can couple a few together for added protection and pin up the same as a cloth diaper.
  10. Paper Towels. Notice the plural on towels as one will not cut it. I would use about four or five and fold up to insert the same as the maxi pad listed above.

I hope these tips help! Good luck, moms (and dads and caregivers!)

Women’s History Month: 6 Titles By Female Authors to ‘Read’ {FREE On Audible}

women's history month

women's history month

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Today is the first day of Women’s History Month.

What better way to celebrate it by digesting a title from a woman author. In coordination with my partner at Audible, I’ve assembled a list of 6 titles to get today and digest this month for FREE when you sign up.

1. “Emma” by Jane Austen (a classic)

” What a delightful way to enjoy a Jane Austen story! This dramatized version alternates between dialogue and Emma Thompson’s narration over music. I thought the narrators were all excellent, and the sound effects and music really pulled me into the world of Emma. If you are an Austen fan, be aware that this is not a word for word reading. Rather, it is a new way to enjoy a familiar story. ” – Reader Reviewer

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

2. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

“Narrator Cassandra Campbell serves up a bushel of Carolina accents in this debut novel by nature writer Delia Owens. Campbell’s accents give the mix of classes and regions in the story the same realistic detail Owens provides for the marsh…. Prepare to be enchanted and haunted.” (AudioFile)

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

3. “Sing, Unburied Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

“While the magical element is new in Ward’s fiction, her allusiveness, anchored in her interest in the politics of race, has been pointing in this direction all along. It takes a touch of the spiritual to speak across chasms of age, class, and color. … The signal characteristic of Ward’s prose is its lyricism. ‘I’m a failed poet,’ she has said. The length and music of Ward’s sentences owe much to her love of catalogues, extended similes, imagistic fragments, and emphasis by way of repetition. … The effect, intensified by use of the present tense, can be hypnotic.” — The New Yorker

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

4. “City of Girls” by Blair Brown

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

Named a most anticipated book of 2019 by Oprah.com, Real SimpleBuzzfeedCosmopolitanGoodReadsPureWowVultureThe Millions, and more.

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

5. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

“Obama writes with a refreshing candor, as though her keen awareness of her celebrity is matched only by her eagerness to shed the exhausting veneer that helped enable her husband’s political rise. ‘My husband is making his own adjustments to life after the White House, catching his own breath,’ she writes at the end of the preface. ‘And here I am, in this new place, with a lot I want to say.’” — The Atlantic

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Though Thomas’s story is heartbreakingly topical, its greatest strength is in its authentic depiction of a teenage girl, her loving family, and her attempts to reconcile what she knows to be true about their lives with the way those lives are depicted — and completely undervalued — by society at large.” — Publishers Weekly

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

 

OR EXPLORE THOUSANDS OF OTHER TITLES! GET YOUR FREE MONTH HERE!

Surprising Family Planning Tax Deductions You May Not Know About

mom in chair

mom in chair

It’s tax filing season and if you are expecting or just had a new baby, there are some expenses related to your journey to parenthood that you may or may not know about.

The fact of the matter is that babies do in fact change your tax situation and here are a few tax tax deductions and credits available to families this year.

[FILE TAXES ONLINE FROM ANYWHERE WITH H&R BLOCK]

Before Baby

Pregnancy Test Kits. Birth Control Pills. Fertility Enhancement. These count as medical expense deductions. For medical expenses to be deductible, you’ll have to itemize your tax deductions, and your medical expenses must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Expecting Baby

Nursing moms can include the cost of breast pumps and supplies in their medical expense deductions. Lactation expenses are also deductible as are laboratory fees that may be a part of your medical care.

The New Arrival

The tax deduction that comes with your new arrival can’t match the joy, but this still should make you happy.

Under the new tax law, the child tax credit has doubled to $2,000 per qualifying child. And, unlike a tax deduction, which reduces the amount of your income subject to tax, a tax credit reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar.

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Planning for Baby’s Future

The new tax law lets parents save tax-free for their child’s education. Under the law you can use up to $10,000 per child from a 529 plan to pay qualified expenses for elementary and secondary school and home school.

The 529 plans can also be used to pay for college.

Speaking of college, if you want to think that far ahead, two tax credits are available to help with qualified educational expenses. Those credits are the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a credit of up to $2,500 for qualified tuition and expenses for the first four years of college, and the Lifetime Learning Credit, which provides up to $2,000 per return.

Use College Backer as your global ‘529’ Plan

I apologize if I’ve gotten too far ahead of you by talking about schooling and college and all those things. I’ll bring it back to the here and now by reminding you that whether your bundle of joy is born on January 1 or December 31 of the year, you can take a full $2,000 child tax credit.

And remember, as your child grows, the tax code is bound to change. You’ll want to make sure you get all the tax deductions to which your family is entitled. The best way to do that is to talk with a tax professional. It’s their job to keep up with the tax code. And, because they do their job, you can do yours, enjoying life with your new addition

tax saving

Coronavirus Outbreak: What Parents and Expecting Mom Should Know

boy with mask coronavirus

The newest coronavirus just took its first US victim as of this publication – a person near Seattle – and by now, parents and pregnant women, and many others are in panic mode.

The most recent reports indicate that over 84,100 people have been sickened with the virus and about 2,870 have died since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Although the virus was mainly in China, it has since spread to at least 56 nations including 62 confirmed cases in America.

On Tuesday, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the coronavirus would most likely spread to communities in the United States.

Watch this excellent explainer video from the CDC NOW!!!

IMG_7110

“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a news media briefing. “We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare, in the expectation that this could be bad.”

As the New York Times recently reported:

Right now, the bulk of the cases in the United States are connected to the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship that was docked in Japan after it was revealed that some guests on board had tested positive for coronavirus. For those who have been diagnosed in the United States, most had traveled to China, although two cases occurred after contact with an infected person at home.

Two cases in California, one revealed on Wednesdayanother on Friday, had no known connection to previous cases, suggesting community spread.

The paper also did a great round up of advice and here are the critical excerpts that pertain to children and pregnant women who are the main focus of this site and I highlighted the points that jumped out to me in larger font and italics:

Should parents be worried?

The good news, Dr. Meissner said, is that cases in children have been very rare.

According to a report published in JAMA in February, most people infected with the coronavirus were between 49 and 56 years old.

“It appears that when kids do get it, they have much milder symptoms,” Dr. Meissner said.

It’s also important to keep things in perspective, Dr. Mulligan added. “Flu is killing a lot more Americans, including children,” he said. “There’s no doubt the influenza virus will cause many more illnesses, hospitalizations and even deaths than this coronavirus.”

[What parents should know about this season’s flu.]

What steps should parents take at this point?

You should take the same precautions you would take to protect your child from the common cold or flu.

“We know for sure that it spreads readily from person to person, akin to influenza,” Dr. Schaffner said of the new coronavirus. “We also now think it can spread from people who are infected with the virus, but not yet showing symptoms. We don’t know if this is a frequent occurrence, but it can happen.”

As always, encourage children to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can work in a pinch, but they’re generally not as effective as soap and water, added Dr. Meissner.)

Hands should be washed before children eat, after they use the bathroom, come inside from outdoors or touch something dirty like garbage. If you see someone coughing or sneezing, try to keep your kids as far away from them as possible.

“We believe that the respiratory secretions from coronaviruses can’t travel more than six feet,” Dr. Meissner explained.

Travel is also fine, Dr. Meissner added, but use common sense and caution.

For the most part, domestic trips and even most international ones are still OK (even with the isolated cases of potential community spread in California).

The C.D.C. has issued a Level 3 advisory (which means avoiding nonessential travel) for China and South Korea, and a Level 2 advisory (meaning older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing travel, and those who are going should practice enhanced precautions) if you’re traveling to Japan, Iran or Italy.

If you’re planning a cruise for spring break, the C.D.C. also urges you to avoid ones that travel to or from Asia.

If there is an outbreak in your town, Dr. Schaffner said you should practice what’s known as social distancing.

This means staying at home and binging on TV, rather than going out and about to movies, sports events and other activities. Schools may close, at least temporarily, and people who can work from home will be encouraged to do so.

For now, Dr. Schaffner said, if you and your kids still haven’t gotten a flu shot, get one.

“We’re talking so much about the coronavirus, but in the meantime, there have been 16,000 flu-related deaths this year in the United States, with 105 in children,” he stressed. “Parents are used to the flu, so they don’t worry as much about it. But taking steps to protect their children from it are much more important.”

I’m pregnant. Should I be concerned?

Yes, but no more than you would be about coming down with the flu.

During pregnancy, parts of your immune system are depressed, which makes you more susceptible to complications from viruses such as influenza and chickenpox, explained Dr. Steven Gordon, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. (Pregnant women, for example, are nearly 3.5 times more likely to end up in the hospital from the flu than women who aren’t expecting, according to a study published in June 2019 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.)

“It makes sense that a pregnant woman would be at higher risk of complications from this virus than a nonpregnant one,” he said. “But you also need to keep in mind that your risk in general of getting this disease is very, very low.”

Be safe out there!

It’s a Leap Year and Here are Cool Facts About Leap Year Babies

Currently, there are 187,000 leap year babies living the United States.

People born on this day call themselves leaplings, leapers, leapster or Leap Day babies. A 100 year old woman  named Daisy Belle Ward celebrated her 25th birthday  in 2016, given that her true birthday

And depending on the country, Leap Year babies birthdays are officially recognized on March 1 (most nations including England, Wales, Hong Kong and the US) or February 28 (New Zealand and Taiwan). In America, only some states have statues that specify which day should be used, according to Reuters, and for those that do not have a date, March 1 is the default.

The Daily Mail did a round up of 10 unique facts about Leap Year Babies. Here are my faves:

They’re pretty rare

The odds of being born on February 29th are 1 in 1,461, or .068 per cent. That makes them a real minority, with only about five million Leaplings in the whole world.

In the US, the number is just 187,000.

Being born on Leap Day is actually rarer than being born with 11 fingers and toes (odds are 1 in 500).

There are two known families with THREE Leap Day children

Having one child born on Leap Day is unique enough, but a family in Norway managed to welcome three children on different Leap Days, each four years after the former.

Karin and Henry Henriksen had three kids, and each defied the odds. Heidi, the eldest, was born on February 29, 1960. Olav, the next, was born February 29, 1964. And Leif-Martin, the youngest, was born February 29, 1968.

The trio nabbed the record for most siblings born on the same day in the Guinness Book of World Records.

A Utah family also has three kids born on Leap Day.

According to KSL.comLouise Estes welcomed Xavier born in 2004, Remington in 2008, and Jade in 2002. She and her husband have two other kids, born in between, who also get special ‘milestone’ birthday celebrations every four years so they don’t feel left out.

A woman and her daughter were both born on Leap Day

Michelle Birnbaum from Saddle River, New Jersey was born on February 29, 1980, making her another rare Leap Baby.

In 2008, at age 28 — to the day — she gave birth to a daughter named Rose. Not only do they share the same birthday, but they also share Leapling status.

‘It was just luck, all the stars lined up at the right time,’ she told the New York Post in 2012, around her daughter’s first ‘real’ birthday.

There is a club for Leaplings that’s 10,000 members strong

Leaplings can find each other by joining the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies. Founded in 1997, it’s currently over 10,000 members strong. On Facebook, they have over 800 members.

There ya go!

How to Pick or Predict Your Baby’s Gender, According to Old Wives Tales

Photo by Fallon Michael on Unsplash

A lot of women want to know what sex their baby will be before they give birth. There are tons of old wives tales that offer clues and these non-scientific predictors, although not proven for sure, are sometimes accurate.

If you are having a boy, it’s been said the fetal heartbeat on the doppler fetal monitor will be over 14o beats per minute. Others have said if you are having a boy, you will carry the baby out front like a basketball, develop large and dark nipples or bright yellow color of the urine are all signs too.

Some of the signs indicating a baby girl, according to the Old wives, include a heart rate of less than 140 per minute, bulges in the back and the hips, watermelon looking belly, dull yellow urine color, breasts that are blossom and appearance less than normal.

Then there are the fun voo doo tricks.

Tie your wedding ring to a string and watch it sway over your bell. If it sways in a circular motion, then it is thought to be a boy whereas the sideways movement indicates baby girl. Craving for salty and sour foods are known to be there in case of baby boy whereas sweets and orange juice cravings indicate baby girl.

Another way to find out is by adding your current age to the month of perception and if the number comes in even then it is a boy and if it comes an odd number then it is considered to be a girl. 

There are even thing they say you can do to make yourself more likley to conceive one gender or another. 

If you wish to conceive a baby girl then prescribed diet includes food items like corn, eggs, yogurt, coffee, beans, plums, fish, meat and liver. The restricted food items should be oranges, watermelon, alkaline foods and potatoes.

If you wish to conceive a boy then you should include lentils, pine nuts, sprouts, almonds, avocado and royal jelly in your diet.

Dairy products and foods having calcium and magnesium should be avoided.  Here is an old wives tale infographic shared before for you to Pin.

Shed Your Mommy Pooch With These At-Home Exercises

New moms know that getting to the gym could be super tough especially those weeks after giving birth when you can barely muster enough energy to put on their tennis shoes.

Even if you last gave birth 10 years ago or longer, you also know it is really hard to sneak some time away to get a good work out in.

Also, a gym membership may not even be in the cards for various reasons.

In times like these, having a home gym or a space in your home to get tiny workouts in is ideal.

The next step is finding workouts or routines  to do and mixing up the work out so you maximize your tone and/or weight loss goals.

You really don’t have to go farther than your home to get fit.

There are a lot of moves that you can do without any equipment.

We curated a list of workouts posters we nabbed from our Pinterest board.

Most can be done without weights even!

 

Have fun!